OAKHURST, Madera County (AP) — Police say a property owner was shot and killed when he confronted men who were growing marijuana on his rural Central California property.

Madera County Sheriff’s Lt. Zack Zamudio said Tuesday that 47-year-old Timothy Fadgen was killed during the confrontation Monday night and died at the scene.

Zamudio says Fadgen confronted the men about the illegal grow on the edge of his property and an altercation ensued. He says police are searching for three men who fled in a blue or green minivan. Descriptions of the suspects were not available.

Zumudio says investigators have not determined how many pot plants are growing on the land.

Tensions are rising in rural California communities where marijuana growers are clashing with longtime residents who complain that pot attracts crime to their neighborhoods.

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